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2012-08-22 09:44

GEELY EXPORTS SOAR: Chinese automaker Geely is performing well in the export market with models such as the Geely LC Cross (above) launched locally in South Africa.

HONG KONG, China - Chinese automaker Geely said its 2012 profits rose by 9% as strong exports helped to offset a domestic slowdown in the world's biggest car market.

One of China's largest private automakers and the owner of Volvo, Geely said its net profit for the first six months of 2012 stood $159 million.

A total of 222 390 units of vehicles were sold during the period, up by 4% compared to 2011.

MASSIVE EXPORT SALES

Geely said: "The group's performance in the first half of 2012 was in line with our expectations despite continued slowdown in the growth of motor vehicle sales volume in China."

The group's domestic sales volume fell 9% during six months, which paled compared to a 199% surge in its exports market, with over 40 000 units sold to destinations like Russia, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Export sales accounted for nearly one-fifth of its overall sales volume.

Geely said: "Against a background of increasing global economic uncertainty, slower growth and continued fierce competition in China's sedan market, trading conditions in the second half of 2012 are expected to be more challenging."

The automaker maintained its sales target of 460 000 units for 2012.

Growth in China's auto sales slowed to 8.2% year-on-year in July, down from 9.9% in June, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Sales began to slow in 2011 after Beijing rolled back buying incentives and some cities imposed tough restrictions on car numbers to ease chronic traffic congestion and pollution.

Geely said in February, 2012 that it would begin assembling cars in Egypt with a local partner.

In South Africa, the Geely line-up includes the LC city car, LC Cross and MK hatch/sedan.

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